10 things to do when all the gym machines are full

Monday night. The gym is so packed you can’t even get on the bad machines.

What do you do?

10 things to do when all the gym machines are packed

Last night at the gym there were so many people there I couldn’t get on any machine. I waited for close to 10 minutes for a darn exercise bike! It got me thinking though. How could I have better used that time?

Here are 10 ways:

1. Stretch

This is an obvious one. You don’t need much room or any equipment to stretch. Start with all the standing stretches like your legs, arms and back. Then if you can find a mat lay down and do your back and all the yoga-like stretches.

2. Work your abs

There is always some way you can work your abs when the machines are full. For example, it is unlikely that all the fitness balls or ab wheel rollers are taken. Use them. If they are taken then get on a mat and do some good old crunches.

3. Ask to share

I am always amazed at how shy people are about asking someone to share a machine. We all pay the same gym membership price. It is ours to share. Some machines it is not appropriate to share but many it is fine. For example, the tricep pushdown or any machine where you can change the weight with the slip of a pin is a good one to share. People don’t mind – just ask if you can use it while they are having their break.

4. Body weight exercises

There are so many exercises you can do without needing a machine. Squats, jumping squats, pushups, calf raises, etc. are all good things to do while you wait to get on the machine you are after.

5. Spa/Sauna it

We all need to relax sometimes. Perhaps a spa/sauna is what you really need! A good relaxing spa can sometimes be more beneficial than a workout if you are stressed and not well.

6. See if a class is on

My gym has classes running all day and on Monday night when I couldn’t get on anything I went upstairs and they had a cycle class, a yoga class and a boxing class. I slipped onto a bike in the cycle class and no one knew. After 15 mins I left again!

7. Run around the block

You’ve got to do a warm up anyway so why not go for a run around the block? At least you will be out in the fresh air and getting the blood pumping. Perhaps if you have a friend with you you could go outside and do the warm up together.

8. Don’t talk!

There is a big temptation to start talking to people when there is nothing to do. This chat can last for the whole session if you are not careful. If you are one of those people who can talk to someone and then leave and get on with your workout then a little chat is fine. If you are like some my clients, however, and a chat has to last for at least 30 mins then you should avoid it altogether.

9. Dumbbell work

There will NEVER be a time when all the dumbbells are taken. There are so many of them. You can get a full workout by using just the dumbbells. Weighted squats, lateral side raises, military press, curls, etc.

10. Discuss technique with a trainer

One of the best things you can do with “downtime” is go and get a gym trainer and ask him or her about some weight lifting techniques you might be unsure about. This helps you build your training knowledge while you are at the gym and many times they will help you get on a machine. Sneaky!

About the Author Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm a long-distance hiker and outdoor travel blogger. I started hiking since 2014, and since then I've hiked in New Zealand, Canada, the Canary Islands, and all over the United States.

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